Valerie Mullen Pletcher is a nonprofit innovation specialist with over two decades of professional fundraising and management experience. Her knowledge of systems thinking, ethics and standards of excellence have enabled her to raise over millions of dollars to help organizations thrive. Valerie currently serves as the Senior Director of Philanthropy for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), advancing major financial support in the Mid-Atlantic region and developing an overseas philanthropy program. Valerie holds a B.A. in speech communications from West Chester University, and multiple certificates in grant writing, annual fund development, leadership management, and sponsorships. She is a licensed consultant for the Nonprofit Standards for Excellence Institute™ and a graduate with distinction of the International Advanced Fundraising Diploma (IADF) of the U.K. Institute of Fundraising (IoF) in collaboration with Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Her experience and training have made her a frequent guest speaker and educator at fundraising conferences and workshops. Valerie served multiple terms as chair of the AFP Youth in Philanthropy program and was selected to present the youth philanthropy model at the 2017 Japan Association of Fundraising Conference in Tokyo. Valerie is a member of the John Carroll Society and the AFP Washington D.C. chapter. She lives in Northern Virginia with her family where she is a member of Saint Mary of Sorrow’s Parish and teaches 6th grade CCD.